London remains among costliest cities for events

London remains one of the most expensive cities in which to hold an event, according to a new report from Outsourced Events.

The capital came in at number five in the rankings, which are based on the cost of holding a single one-day conference with one plenary room, two coffee breaks and a standing buffet lunch. These are then benchmarked according to the size of the event, with 50, 200, 500 and then 1,000 delegates with all the additional rooms they would require.

Paris came out as the most expensive location, with an average cost of $196 per delegate across all event sizes - some $18 per head more than Doha, which took second place with a cost of $178 per attendee. Zurich in Switzerland and Norwegian capital Oslo were third and fourth respectively, while London completed the top five at an average cost of $151 per head.

These prices have not been negotiated and there may be scope for event planners to find a better deal. But as price pressures mount, it is becoming increasingly difficult to offer the kind of service and provision at events that attendees tend to expect. As one of the best ways to minimise the administrative burden and keep costs down to a minimum, an online event registration system could really benefit planners hosting events both at home and overseas.

Given that these figures do not include additional costs such as hiring rooms for set-up days, signage, audio-visual requirements, accommodation or travel, the full cost of the events is likely to be considerably higher. But in these respects, cities like London and Paris which have excellent domestic and international transport links have other advantages, even if the cost of hotels and other services are also likely to be much higher.

However, some of the cheapest locations for events also boast good transport and infrastructure. Johannesburg is the second least expensive city in which to host an event, with an average price of just $60 per delegate, but also ranks among the best cities for ease of travel.

Not all could say the same, though - Warsaw was the cheapest location with a cost of just $49 per person, but did not perform well on travel. Lagos, Helsinki and Brussels completed the top five cheapest locations, with prices of $92, $101 and $107 respectively.

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